NTSB Identification: ATL02LA050.
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Accident occurred Thursday, February 21, 2002 in Blowing Rock, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/29/2003
Aircraft: Cessna 152, registration: N757AS
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot was maneuvering 50 to 100 feet above trees in mountainous terrain when a strong downdraft was encountered. The pilot attempted to escape the condition by turning, and the downdraft pushed the airplane into the treetops. A nearby weather station reported surface winds from 280 degrees magnetic at 24 knots gusting to 37 knots. The airplane was found approximately 100 yards below a 2,630-foot peak on the southeast side, about 3.5 miles east of a 3,800-foot ridge. Both wings displayed leading edge damage. No evidence of mechanical malfunction or defect was found, and the pilot reported no mechanical problems.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's in-flight decision to continue flight into an area with high winds that resulted in an in-flight encounter with a downdraft and subsequent loss of control of the airplane and collision with terrain.

Full narrative available

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